Severe spring weather devastates communities across the South and here at home

Images of the damage caused by a tornado in Joplin, MO. Photo Credit: Michael Spencer/American Red Cross

The Red Cross is currently providing food, shelter and emotional support for people whose lives have been disrupted by tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri on Sunday. The following actions are already underway:

Red Cross workers opened shelters in the damaged areas within hours and provided people with food and water and a safe place to stay.

  • Red Cross emergency response vehicles in Missouri responded immediately and more vehicles are on the way to help distribute food, water and relief supplies in the affected neighborhoods.
  • Red Cross workers are being deployed and relief materials, including personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and shampoo, tarps, coolers, rakes and other clean-up supplies, are now being sent to Joplin, Missouri.
  • Trained health services and mental health workers are en route to areas affected by the tornadoes to help people cope in the aftermath of these tragic storms.


In Joplin and elsewhere across the south, people should register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are safe. They can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). People in the affected areas can list themselves as “safe and well” on the site. Friends and family outside the disaster area can then search for messages from their loved ones by using a pre-disaster phone number or complete address. Click here for a list of open American Red Cross shelters across the country. 

Flooding in Ross County, Ohio

Here in Ohio, volunteers continue to help families whose homes were badly damaged by flash flooding that hit Ross, Hocking and Vinton counties in early May. More than 100 homes were damaged, causing the need for an emergency shelter to open for families with nowhere to go. Nearly $9,000 was given to families to cover immediate needs, including food, clothing and a safe, dry place to stay.

At the heart of the Red Cross are the volunteers and supporters who time and again step forward to help those in need. If you are interested in learning about volunteering with the American Red Cross click here for a list of our local volunteer positions and steps to get started. Supporters can help by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Thank you!

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